House Speaker Pelosi Signs Bill on Back Pay for Federal Workers CSPAN January 11, 2019 4:30pm-4:48pm EST
legitimate debate. but why do you have to shut down government? do you not have confidence -- i say to the president, don't you have confidence in your own ideas that you have to shut down government to increase your leverage and then threaten to take extraordinary measures when the answer is very simple, let's open up government, let's have a civilized debate, and let's do so in a way that honors our values as we protect our borders and meet the needs of the american people. i urge a yes and i'm glad we'ring going to come out of this with a bipartisan vote. again i thank mr. cummings for his extraordinary leadership in so many ways. most recently on this legislation. yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the distinguished gentlewoman yields. members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the president. the gentleman from maryland reserves. mr. cummings: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore:
without objection, the gentleman from texas, mr. hurd, will control the time for the minority. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hurd: thank you, madam speaker. i'd like to thank my friend, the distinguished gentleman from the great state of maryland for expeditiously bringing this piece of legislation to the floor because this is an important piece of legislation that ensures all federal employees receive back pay once this government shutdown is over. last week while flying back to washington i spoke with t.s.a. agents concerned about their paychecks and uncertainty created by this shut down. guaranteeing back pay is the least we can do to give more certainty to almost a million federal employees, including many in my district, who are missing their first paycheck today. i understand their concerns because my pay is being withheld during sh this shut down in solidarity with federal workers. we all need to come together and find a bipartisan and realistic solution to reopen the government. if we're going to talk about
border security, then the brave men and women who are on the ground every day securing our border should get paid. border security and immigration have been a contentious issue for a long time, but the only way we solve big problems here in washington is by working together. we need to push pause on requesting specific conditions before talks resume. we need to lay down our swords and be willing to find not a democratic solution, not a republican solution, but a solution for all americans. i urge my colleagues to stand with federal workers and join me in supporting this commonsense piece of legislation which has passed unanimously by the senate last night. thank you, madam speaker. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: madam speaker, i yield to the distinguished gentleman from virginia, and a member of our committee, mr.
connolly, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. connolly: i thank the speaker, and i thank my dear friend from maryland for his leadership. i certainly support this bill to keep our federal employees whole. i must say when i hear discussion and when i heard the words of our friend and colleague from montana, i thought are we rewriting history? this isn't about who likes president trump or who does not. where is the outrage in this body? when do we finally say enough? we had a bill, a bipartisan bill that passed the senate, it was ready to pass here. the white house said they would sign it. and because four, five right wing talking heads scared the president of the united states, he pulled the plug. democrats didn't do that.
republicans didn't do it. he did it. and now you are defending him, enabling him. even when he says, i never said mexico would pay for the wall. even though we have 212 explicit references in the last three years in which he said precisely that. nd meanwhile, because of that, votes which came out o of the right field -- folks which came out of the right field, 800,000 federal employees and all american citizens are held hostage. when do we come together? and say enough? when do we stand up for those federal employees who are civil servants, who serve our constituents? and when do we say this shut down threatens the security of the united states?
it is wrong. and we have had enough. so it's good that we're going to keep our federal employees whole this the shut down ends, but let's come together and make sure this shut down ends. even at the risk of taking on the president of the united tates politically. at the last analysis, can can can we not come together and -- can can we not come together and do the right thing for the american people? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i reserve the balance of my time, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hurd: madam speaker, i'm going to continue to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: madam speaker, i yield my distinguished friend and gentleman from the state of maryland, mr. rass conditions, two minutes. -- raskin, two minutes.
mr. raskin: thank you very much, mr. chairman. 800,000 american workers, 800,000 workers in our federal work force have either been sent home and furloughed with no check, or told to report to work with no check. with no payment. i have got air traffic controllers living in my district, mr. chairman, madam speaker, who have had to take money out of their kids' 529 college funds, have had to take money out of their own retirement funds, in order to pay their family bills. there is a 10% penalty for doing that. who is going to pay them back the 10%? is the president of the united states going to do that? what about my constituents, i have tens of thousands of federal workers, what about my constituents being forced to put their mortgage on a credit card this month? who is going to pay them back? what about the dishonor and
humiliation brought on our government by this? the president of the united states didn't do this to hundreds of thousands of workers in putin's russia or in hungary or the philippines. this is our people that he did this to. this is our workers who he sent home with no paycheck. people are texting me, they are emailing me their pay stubs today which say zero dollars gross. zero dollars net. after having worked 40 or 50 hours this week. i have scientists in my district working on preventing outbreaks of e. coli contamination, salmonella, insect infestation of our food supply and they have been told not to go to work. madam speaker, this is an outrage and a scandal. at the very least we can pass on a unanimous bipartisan basis this legislation to try to repair the damage by saying that every federal worker will get back every penny that he or she is owed by the united states government.
. we need make sure that if this ever happens agai >> that bill passed in the house. we'll take you live to the capitol, speaker pelosi is set o sign it. ms. pelosi: good afternoon, everyone. i'm honored to be here to sign this legislation which is about fairness to our federal workers and public employees. it should not be necessary. we shouldn't have a shutdown but since we do, we want to ensure that our public employees, some of them are working without pay, some of them are shut down from -- shut out from working, we ant to ensure they'll be paid. we hope the incentives some in the financial services sectors and some in the credit union
will help people who can't pay their bills because they don't get paid. with that, i'm happy to welcome members of congress, one of our eleanor holmes-- norton. mr. beyer from virginia as well. congressman mr. chairman, mr. defazio of oregon. all of them have worked very all of them value, worked hard to make sure that this legislation came to the floor as soon as possible and to acknowledge senator cardin,
senator van hollen of maryland for getting this through the up te so we could take it expeditiously in the house today. will sign it. >> madam speaker. the president a little while ago -- about ut potential wanting democrats to come back to washington and talk about it could you speak on that? have osi: i think we'll to work on that. aung for your leadership, making
this possible. thank you for being here at this moment. thank you very much. i will keep one. we had not intended for this to be a press availability, only a photo op. when the president asks we will respond to whatever he does. >> madam speaker, what about this, since everyone is leaving here, it guarantees this will be the listeningest government shutdown, what's your comments on that, that we'll be in day 22 starting saturday? ms. pelosi: it's totally unnecessary. e have given many paths to alleviating this, opening up government. what we did, i think it is important to remind that in the house we put on the floor the legislation that had already been passed by the senate, the republicans -- republican
appropriation legislation. earlier in the week we passed legislation to open up the treasury department to make sure that people got their refound in realtime. we talked about opening up the agriculture department so farmers would get their farm support and people could get food stamps and other provisions from the department of agriculture. we did legislation -- i think at he we did for legislation -- transportation and housing and urban development to make sure that people could get some people would be evicted if these were not ex-tened. then today as you know, we had a for departmentor
of interior to open up the parks o important. they passed the senate, 92-6. a republican senate initiative that passed 92-6 in the senate we're putting on the floor here, sending it back to them say, take yes for an answer. we did exactly what you republicans -- republican senators did, now take yes for an answer and pass your own bill that you've already passed once again. next week we'll take up legislation that relates to -- legislation that passed over there, some of it voted on in leader committees by mitch mcconnell. we hope that hopefully by then we wouldn't have the shutdown, we shouldn't have it in the
first place. it's again a chance to mention a temper tantrum by the president. i'm a mother of five, grandmother of nine, i know a temper tantrum when i see one. it's most unfortunate. people's paychecks are being withheld and that's not right for the american people and we have a better idea about how to secure our border. to do so with technology and infrastructure that is smart. and does the job. building infrastructure where 90% of the drugs come in, the president talked about that, most of the people come in seeking asylum, let's have more personnel there. more infrom fra structuring more road repair to facilitate all of that we have the technology. put the resources there for the technology, take maybe $400 million to $500 million to scan
cars coming in for drugs and other contraband. other problematic items that might be in those cars that can be detected electronically. and use innovation to protect our border in so many other ways. this is smart. this is about now and the future. it's not building a wall. it's more cost effective to do it this way. that's a negotiation we should be having. a fwoshese -- we had three meetings, i think the last one was a staged affair so the president could walk out. the other meetings of staff over the last weekend have tried to be productive. if you want a solution. so we're happy to talk about what makes it ok, the things that make it better for america's workers for them to
know they will be paid and for their creditors to know they ill be paid. >> [inaudible] >> he has -- ms. pelosi: he's said terrible thing, terrible things have been said by people in this dministration. >> [inaudible] ms. pelosi: when he makes a decision we'll let him know. >> speaker pelosi sign, enrolling that bill that was voted for on the house floor that guarantees back pay for workers furloughed by the government shutdown now in its 21st day. the senate approved the measure thursday by voice vote. the u.s. house is done for the week. earlier, in addition, lawmakers passed a bill funding the interior department and national parks by a 240-179 vote.
that was the fourth spending bill the house passed this week to reopen parts of the federal government. but the senate has said they won't consider any of these spending bills because president trump announced he'll veto them if they reach his desk. after today's votes, house majority leader steny hoyer and minority whip steve scalise came to the floor to discuss next week agenda and the ongoing government shuttown. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. scalise: with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield to my friend from maryland for our first official colloquy, the gentleman from maryland, and the majority leader of the house, mr. hoyer. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. we have reversed positions, of course. for a number of years now, i've had the privilege of having a colloquy with mr. mccarthy, who was then the majority leader. so, mr. scalise is now -- has now undertaken my role. a role probably he doesn't welcome. but i know he will do well. as minority whip. and as majority leader, i'm stim here